With worries of a massive rail strike behind us (for now …), we can turn to other important topics, like the national lack of truck parking and the United States’ dilapidated transportation corridors. On Thursday, the Biden/Harris administration, through Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, awarded $1.5 billion in competitive Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grants.
“Today we are announcing transformative investments in our nation’s roads, bridges, ports, and rail to improve the way Americans get around and help lower the costs of shipping goods. Using funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are able to support more excellent community-led projects this year than ever before.” — Buttigieg in a statement
Here are some of the trucking-related grant awards from the press release:
Interstate 4 West Central Florida Truck Parking Facility, $15,000,000: In West Central Florida, the U.S. Department of Transportation is investing in a project that will tackle the shortage of commercial truck parking on a corridor between Tampa and Orlando, which carries an average of 18,000 trucks daily. The project will construct a truck parking facility with approximately 120 spaces, electric charging stations and pedestrian infrastructure to access nearby commercial amenities. The facility will be connected to the Florida Department of Transportation’s Truck Parking Availability System to assist commercial vehicle drivers in identifying available parking locations and will include at least six electrical hookups to provide standby power for refrigerated trucks and auxiliary power for in-cab comforts.
Interstate 39/90/94 Wisconsin River Bridges Project, $80,000,000: In Columbia County, Wisconsin, USDOT is investing to replace the existing I-39/90/94 Wisconsin River Bridge with two bridge spans dedicated to serving traffic in opposite directions. Two overcrossing bridges for county roads will also be replaced. The bridge replacement addresses the declining state of the bridges, which if not addressed now, could create frequent and lengthy closures for repairs and negative impacts on supply chains in the future. Twenty-three percent of the bridge traffic is composed of truck traffic, as the route links economic hubs in Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago. The route also connects major tourism destinations, with a large share of Wisconsin’s tourism revenue coming from the counties adjacent to the project area. Further, the high-performance materials used in the construction will reduce the need and frequency for maintenance.
Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project, $150,000,000: In San Diego, USDOT is investing in a project that strengthens the supply chain by constructing a new road (State Route 11) and port of entry facility at Otay Mesa. The port of entry will provide an alternative for nearly 3,600 trucks that cross the existing Otay Mesa and Tecate ports of entry daily, which are operating at capacity. The project facilitates freight movement across borders with destinations at nearby distribution centers and warehouses, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the Inland Empire’s mega-distribution centers in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The project sponsor will establish a local hire agreement targeting disadvantaged groups, as well as a pre-apprenticeship program.
The full list of grants awarded can be found on the DOT’s website: https://www.transportation.gov/grants/infra-2022-fact-sheets
More information can be found on the department’s INFRA site: https://www.transportation.gov/grants/infra-grants-program